The idea with medical alert systems initially was to create a device that would allow the elderly to contact the emergency services after they’ve fallen in their home, injured themselves and are unable to get up. At this point, they cannot take care of themselves, but crucially, they also can’t raise the alarm to friends and family because the telephone is out of reach.
These devices were initially created three decades ago when cordless phones and cellphones were not common or a small enough size to carry around in their pocket in case of an emergency. These medical alert system devices are made by various companies, often hang on a chain around the neck and connect via cellular towers while transmitting their GPS coordinates to point first responders to the precise location.
Here a few of the benefits of a medical alert device.
The devices are useful as wearable tracking devices which help to pinpoint where military personnel are located. While there are other options for the military, the easy application and affordability of the system provides some ad hoc uses to put a tracker on a team discretely before they head out.
Most trackers have a battery life of up to 24 hours but may have batteries that are replaceable out in the field. Given that these devices operate with minimal power, they’re likely to last much longer than highly sophisticated systems that drain far more battery power to deliver extra bells and whistles.
Wearing either a bracelet or a necklace with an alert system was the original purpose of these types of medical devices. They have gotten more sophisticated over the years with the improvement in battery life, the inclusion of GPS tracking, easier activation and a smaller size.
While the earlier models only worked at home, the newer ones use cellular technology to provide the tracking and monitoring service anywhere. The most common cause of problems for the elderly is taking a tumble, either down the stairs or with a set of steps outside. Problems with older joints, the hips and balance in general often contribute to the frequency that this occurs.
Disaster Relief Efforts Use
With the number of disaster relief efforts across the States increasing as the weather grows ever more unpredictable, managing relief efforts and knowing where key personnel are located is a challenge for relief coordinators. While the most important organizers may have been issued personal satellite phones that work on the Iridium network of global satellites to provide coverage when power lines and cell towers are all down, these are still extremely expensive and unaffordable for aid agencies for all their staff.
With an affordable alert system worn by relief workers, they’re able to know when a staff member has a problem because they can alert the coordinator by hitting the alert button. Whether they’re wearing a GPS device around their neck or on their wrist, even if they’re caught in a cave in, they can often still get a signal out to get help.
Small medical alert systems have uses beyond helping the elderly although that’s still their primary purpose. They’re extremely popular because of their simplicity and effectiveness in raising the alarm when something has gone wrong. For people in remote locations, they’re even more useful because when power lines go down there, they are often the last place to get reconnected again.